Is summer really already over? I love summertime with all the fresh fruits and vegetables in season and while I am excited to make apple crisp, pumpkin spice muffins and soup with cornbread muffins, I don’t quite want to give up my farm fresh tomatoes. Enter Southern Tomato Pie with a delicious sourdough discard pie crust. We still have two weeks left of our CSA box and you can bet I’ll be savoring every last bite of my summer tomatoes by making this “farewell to summer” Southern Tomato Pie.
What is Tomato Pie?
Tomato pie can have different meanings depending on where you live. This tomato pie is not the kind baked on focaccia-style bread or a tart with roasted tomatoes on it. This is Southern Tomato Pie: delicious pie crust, layered fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs and a creamy/cheesy topping that will have you coming back for another slice and dreaming about it through the winter.
Start with the Pie Crust
Southern Tomato Pie can be made with any pie crust. Store-bought, press-in-the-pan or the sourdough discard crust I have listed in the recipe. I love the flavor of sourdough discard in this pie crust. It enhances the cheesy flavor of the creamy topping. I think it’s worth the few extra steps to make when you really want to highlight those summer tomatoes. Whatever crust you use, make sure to par-bake it for 10 minutes in the oven before adding the cheese, layering tomatoes and topping with the creamy mixture.
Sourdough Discard Pie Crust
I love making this pie crust with sourdough discard straight from my refrigerator. The extra chill from the cold discard keeps the butter cold as you incorporate it into the dough. You can also use bubbly sourdough starter in this recipe if you don’t have any sourdough discard. The discard gives a beautiful, almost cheesy flavor to the pie crust which compliments the tomato pie perfectly. I’m working on compiling a whole post just on this sourdough discard pie crust (it’s so good!) but for now, a simple explanation will suffice:
- Using a pastry cutter or food processor, cut in the butter with half of the flour mixture. It will form a thick paste.
- Add the rest of the flour and use the pastry cutter to distribute the flour mixture evenly throughout the dough. It will resemble crumbs.
- Pour in the chilled sourdough discard and use your hands to incorporate and form the dough into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add a Tablespoon of chilled water at a time until the dough forms a ball.
- Cut crust in half, flatten into a circular shape and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or up to 3 days. This recipe makes two crusts. You will only need 1 for the tomato pie. You can freeze the crust for up to 3 months. Pull out and refrigerate to thaw before using.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust, transfer to a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges.
- Prick crust with a fork and bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit pre-heated oven for 10 minutes before topping and layering.
Drain the Tomatoes
This pie is very difficult to mess up. The tomatoes themselves taste so delicious that you will enjoy Southern Tomato Pie even if they are a little bit juicy. One of the most important steps to keep the bottom of the pie from getting too soggy is draining the tomatoes. To do this, lay the tomatoes flat on paper towel or in a colander. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt and let the tomatoes sit for 20 minutes (or longer for really juicy tomatoes). Once the tomatoes have released some of their juices, blot again with paper towel to get any extra juice. When you slice into the tomato pie, if you have a lot of excess juice, use a paper towel to suck up extra liquid that could get the rest of the crust soggy.
One of the highlights of this pie is the creamy topping. Mix together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, chives, spices & herbs in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on top of the tomato pie before baking. As the mixture bakes it turns creamy, melty and is the perfect compliment to those sweet summer tomatoes. You can substitute any fresh herbs you have available to dice and add to the creamy mixture. I also think some crumbled bacon would taste delicious too.
Par-Baking the Crust
I like to par-bake the crust of this tomato pie for 10 minutes. It helps firm up the edges and bake the bottom of the crust because it will be holding a lot of juicy tomatoes. This extra step helps keep the crust from getting soggy (do you hear the refrain..no soggy bottom?? That’s the one thing to worry about with this pie and we take a lot of measures to help keep this from happening). I also sprinkle half of the cheese in this recipe on the bottom of the crust, forming a layer between the crust and drained tomatoes. Mix together 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spread the cheese over the bottom of the par-baked crust before layering.
Layering the Tomato Pie
- Spread the cheese over the bottom of the par-baked pie crust.
- Layer the tomatoes and basil around the pie and on top of each other.
- Spread the creamy mixture on top of the tomatoes
And that’s it! Bake your beautiful Southern Tomato Pie for about 30 minutes until bubbly and the mixture on top is starting to brown. Let the pie cool just a bit before slicing and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
I love the flavor from the sourdough discard pie crust, but a store bought pie crust would work just as well. This press-in-the-pan pie crust is also quick, easy and would work well too.
While I love the fresh tomato flavor in this recipe, I think adding crispy bacon would be absolutely delicious and enhance the tomato flavors. I would add crispy bacon to the creamy filling and layer a little of it between the tomatoes and basil.
Make sure that you are draining your tomatoes well. Some varieties of tomatoes are more juicy than others. Let the tomatoes sit longer to drain next time. Soak up any excess juices with paper towel before adding them to the pie and when you cut into the pie, soak up any juices with paper towel to keep the crust from getting soggy.
You can use any cheese you would like. I like the mild, creaminess of mozzarella with the sharp cheddar flavor, but if you have a different favorite, feel free to substitute that in instead.
Store leftover slices of pie in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Warm up a little to enjoy.
Southern Tomato Pie (Sourdough Pie Crust)
Sourdough Discard Pie Crust
- 2 1/4 cups flour divided, (325 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 cup unsalted butter chilled (227 grams)
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard (135 grams) see recipe notes
- 4-8 Tablespoons ice water
Southern Tomato Pie
- 3 large tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 cup mozarella cheese 1/2 cup reserved for topping
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese 1/2 cup reserved for topping
- 2 Tablespoons chives or green onion chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
Sourdough Discard Pie Crust
- To a bowl, mix together 1 cup (150 grams) of flour with the salt and sugar.
- Cut the unsalted butter into small chunks (about 16 pieces per stick of butter) and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until all of the butter is moistened by the flour and forms into a thick paste (see pictures in the recipe post).
- Add the remaining 1 1/4 cup (175 grams) of flour and use the pastry cutter to distribute the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.
- Add the chilled sourdough discard on top of the flour/butter mixture and stir to combine. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add ice cold water a Tablespoon at time until it comes together.
- Cut the ball in half and form two balls of dough. Wrap the balls in plastic wrap, press down on them to form a disc shape and stick in the refrigerator to chill. Chill the dough for 20 minutes if using right away or for up to 3 days if using later. You will only be using 1 pie crust for this recipe. Save the other crust to use for a sweet or savory pie in the freezer for up to 3 months (thaw in the refrigerator before using).
Southern Tomato Pie
- While the pie crust chills, prepare the tomatoes and pie filling: Wash and dry the large tomatoes. Slice thinly and spread tomatoes on a paper towel or in a colander. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and let tomatoes sit for about 20 minutes to drain.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Chop fresh basil into small pieces and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
- Mix together the Creamy Tomato Pie Topping: 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, chopped chives (or green onion), salt, garlic powder, ground pepper and oregano.
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Roll out on a floured surface and transfer into a 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges and prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Pre-bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
- While the crust is pre-baking, pat the tomatoes with paper towel and soak up all the excess juices from the tomatoes. The more you drain the tomatoes, the less "juicy" and soggy the pie will be.
- After 10 minutes, remove the pie pan from the oven and spread the reserved cheddar/mozzarella cheese over the bottom of the pan. Next, layer the tomatoes around the pie, sprinkling with fresh basil as you go. Overlap the tomatoes until you've used all of the tomato slices.
- Spread the creamy topping on top of the tomatoes, covering the entire pie. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow the pie to cool before cutting and serving. If the tomatoes are especially juicy when you cut into the pie, soak up some of the juice with a paper towel so it doesn't get the crust soggy. Enjoy a slice of summer on a plate!
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